Monday, 22 July 2013

The benefits of getting on with life after the diagnosis of dementia


 

There are many ways of looking at the diagnosis of dementia, although in the mid to later stages of the illness there may be little we can do to change things. However in the early to mid-stages, I feel that it is important to try to get on with life and if possible start a new life.


My consultant told me to keep looking forward and to forget the things that were becoming hard to cope with.

Through this I have moved on, but many cannot do this as they struggle to come to terms with the illness, through either denial or the stigma which we see attached to this illness, or in some cases the illness was simply too late in being diagnosed.

I am contacted daily by email either from this blog or through other means about my problems, some of which have been discussed in the blog, and where possible I try to answer them.

But in my answer there is always one comment, and that is we are all different with vastly different symptoms and problems, even in one variation of the illness. We are all individuals, and go through the illness our own individual way.

  It’s very important to keep as active as you can, either with hobbies or finding something new to do, even though it may be hard to get going, because the benefits are massive.

The thought of sitting down and doing nothing never ever, got into my thoughts, as that would have been the end, just like giving in to the illness.

Yes I had a strong willed wife and Daughter who would not let it happen, as they were even more determined to keep me active.

I confess that I had not bargained for my daughter, when she said that she was not ready to let me go, to the illness and I was going to do as I was told?

I love her dearly as I do my wife, and they keep me going when times are hard.

I have met a few people who do nothing at home and they all seem to be sliding away, from their families.

To me, keeping active is one important way to keep the illness at bay, but I admit that not everyone can do this.

I was encouraged to keep active, but I cannot swim these days as I have lost my coordination and tend to swallow more water that enough.

I don’t go to the Gym because I cannot remember what I am supposed to do, so I walk as much as I can each day.  

At least walking can be done in my own time and at my own pace, and this encourages me to do as much as I can. I am also considering getting a small dog, which will be company when I am out and could also give me more confidence, so I know that I will carry on walking for as long as possible.

Keeping the brain active can also help by doing things like crossword and word search puzzles.

I used to love Mahjong but that is limited these days due to my eyes, which are giving me a hard time, as I have double vision art times.

I no longer attend as many meetings like I used to do, but I still try to enjoy myself as much as I can.

But each time an obstacle comes my way I try to find something else to do as sitting still is something I find difficult

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